NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Monday is World Mental Health Day, a day to raise awareness and hopefully break down the stigma of the issue of mental illness.
While the pandemic has made things much worse, there are some signs of hope, according to health professionals.
Since humans are social animals, the pandemic shift to isolation was hard mentally on so many, according to Yale Medicine Dr. F. Perry Wilson. He said the situation is getting a bit better, but people need to reach out if they’re struggling.
“There are resources out there,” Wilson said. “There’s help that you can get and if you need it, you really need to ask for it because we’ve seen a lot of tragedies during the pandemic that isn’t directly related to COVID, but is related to what COVID has done to society.”
Janet Lydecker, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, said mental illness is being talked about more since the pandemic.
She’s noticing a very hopeful trend is emerging in teens.
“I do find that teenagers are much more open to talking about receiving therapy, sharing different strategies that they’ve learned, why they’re in therapy than I’ve ever seen in adults,” Lydecker said.
She predicts that if this continues as teens become adults, there will be a decrease in mental health stigma.
When children are struggling emotionally or mentally, she will alert parents.
“I find that parents are very receptive to hearing that their child could benefit from learning more coping skills or having more tools to help them have whether it’s a normal life or more productive life, or just a happier life,” Lydecker said.
She said some positives to help mental illness have emerged from the pandemic in a world with a shortage of professionals to help.
“Telehealth options or supportive therapy which isn’t a traditional model of one hour a week kind of indefinitely but a briefer model of therapy,” she said.